NL West Movers and Shakers


Hunter Pence got the Hot Stove lit by re-signing with the Giants.. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

About the only team in the National League West that has not made a major move to its roster so far in the offseason is the Arizona Diamondbacks. I understand the team has signed Blake Lalli, Ryan Rowland-Smith and Matt Tuiasosopo but when I mean major, I mean guys who are guaranteed to make an Opening Day roster. Does this mean the D’backs will remain quiet for the next three months? Hardly. But there is quite a bit of noise coming out of the division so far with one of them keeping quite busy.

The San Francisco Giants actually struck before the regular season ended, locking up Hunter Pence for the next five years to the tune of $90 million dollars.  They then shocked quite a few people with the contract that was given to Tim Lincecum. I am not sure it was surprising that they re-signed him but they did it at the cost of $17 million per season (although it is only for two years). Earlier this week, they struck again by signing Tim Hudson for two seasons at $23 million. This represents a slight risk given Hudson’s age (38) and the fact that he is coming off a broken ankle. Finally, it appears the team is close to a three year deal with lefty reliever Javier Lopez. No team in baseball has been making more noise over the last two months than the Giants.

The newest Cuban defector has decided to make his home with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Alexander Guerrero, who signed a four year deal in October with the club, is now playing at second base and shortstop in the Dominican Winter League. It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers start him at second instead of his natural position at short, where Hanley Ramirez currently resides. LA also picked up Mike Baxter from the Mets and lost the versatile Skip Schumaker, who signed a two year deal with the Reds.

The San Diego Padres are hoping Josh Johnson can bolster their rotation. The big righty suffered through a miserable 2013 with the Blue Jays, going 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA. The signing represents a low risk, high reward for the Padres as they were able to secure Johnson on a one year deal worth $8 million. The biggest domino may still yet to fall in San Diego as the team may look into trading star third baseman Chase Headley.

The Colorado Rockies reached out to one of the members of their 2007 World Series team. Well-traveled reliever LaTroy Hawkins is back for another stint in the Mile High City. The 40 year old Hawkins registered 13 saves for the Mets in 2013 filling in for injured closer Bobby Parnell. His arrival may spell the end of the line for Rafael Betancourt. Of course, the Rox also have trade winds swirling around star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, whom ownership insists is not available.

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